China Announces New Walk-In Visa Policy

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China issued a statement announcing that the country will continue to improve its visa policies and work on creating more favorable conditions to enhance cross-border travel.

The ministry’s announcement came a week after Chinese embassies and consulates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and other countries halted online visa appointments and switched to walk-in visa application services.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China‘s spokesperson, the new visa policy has already yielded positive results, with the number of new visas issued by Chinese diplomatic missions rising swiftly and the number of foreigners traveling to China increasing steadily.

China’s new visa policy allows foreigners planning a trip to China to go directly to Chinese diplomatic missions during their operating hours and apply for a visa. After entering a visa office, the applicants are required to go through security screening, take a number and wait their turn. The service is provided on a first come, first served basis.

China has also signed visa-exemption agreements with Kazakhstan, Madagascar and other countries this year.

China has agreements on mutual visa exemption with over 150 countries, which enables certain citizens from traveling to China without a visa. However, for the majority of countries, visa-free arrangements apply only to diplomatic or official passports.

A few countries do enable visa-free travel to China for citizens holding ordinary passports. Citizens from these countries are allowed to travel to China without a visa for up to 30 days for the purposes of tourism, travel, business, and visiting family or friends.

These countries are:

The Bahamas
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Maldives
San Marino
The United Arab Emirates

Citizens from the above countries will still need to apply for a corresponding visa to China if they intend to work, study, or settle in China, or intend to stay for longer than 30 days.

SOURCE: China Announces New Walk-In Visa Policy